What is Myasthenia Gravis?

The Mayo Clinic defines Myasthenia Gravis as “weakness and rapid fatigue of any of the muscles under your voluntary control.” This chronic autoimmune disease causes a breakdown in the communication between your nerves and muscles. As of right now, there is no cure, but there are treatments that can help relieve some of the symptoms.  

According to Healthline, symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis include trouble talking, problems walking up a flight of stairs, facial paralysis, and difficulty breathing. Weakness caused by Myasthenia Gravis gets worse with more activity and better with rest. It typically affects people over the age of 40, but women are more likely to be diagnosed as younger adults.

Learn more about Myasthenia Gravis in this video by Osmosis:

Importance of Sleep Health

Conquer Myasthenia Gravis states that patients often have problems either with their quality or quantity of sleep. They can experience insomnia or symptoms of sleep apnea. However, Myasthenia Gravis does not necessarily cause these symptoms directly. These sleep problems may be brought on by medications used for Myasthenia Gravis, inactivity caused by Myasthenia Gravis, or depression caused by living with a chronic autoimmune disease.

Myasthenia Gravis News writes about a 2019 study published in the journal Neurological Sciences. In the study, they had participants undergo an overnight polysomnography test. The results showed that Myasthenia Gravis patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were most often male and obese. Additionally, the study revealed that the severity of sleep apnea was 11 times higher in Myasthenia Gravis patients with OSA, specifically for people who sleep on their back. The findings of the study indicated that proper treatment strategies for OSA in Myasthenia Gravis patients might eventually lead to better overall sleep in patients.

If you or someone you know suffers from Myasthenia Gravis, make sure they discuss any sleep problems they are experiencing with their healthcare provider.

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